While showing California's Yosemite Valley to some eager visitors, John Muir once said, “I fluttered around here for 10 years, but you expect to see and do everything in 4 days.”
His words ring true for visitors to Alaska as well. It is impossible to see everything Alaska has to offer during one visit. Alaska is breathtakingly beautiful, and there is no wonder why it is on so many people's bucket list- a land crowded only by mountains and wilderness. Glaciers still cover many of our mountains. As a matter of fact, more than half of the glaciers on earth are found in Alaska.
Out of America's 20 tallest mountains 17 are found in Alaska. Denali, the tallest mountain in North America, dominates the landscape of the interior region and always seems to nudge something inside of you for one more look. Salmon can migrate up to 2,000 miles in our rivers and streams, and on their way to their spawning grounds many lose their lives to feed millions of birds, bears, wolves and humans.
Alaska is also a bird watchers paradise with 246 resident species and well over 400 documented species including those that migrate.
One of my first memories in Alaska before becoming a resident was during a drive between Anchorage and Seward. We saw dall sheep in the hills of the Chugach mountains on our left, while watching beluga whales in the frigid salt water of Turnagain Arm on our right. We had to pull the car off the road just to take it all in. The thought entered my mind 'where the mountains meet the ocean', and that was the day Alaska truly became a part of me, or at least who I wanted to be.
I have lived here now for over 12 years and have had many great experiences. Some have been with family, some with friends, and others with complete strangers, but the common theme in all of these experiences for me was the fact that no matter who I was with or what we were doing, I became passionate about showing the beauty of Alaska to whoever wanted to explore it with me.
With that said, I understand that planning a trip to Alaska can be overwhelming. There is so much to see and so little time to do it all. If you are looking to escape from crowds of tourists, connect with nature, and have a wilderness experience for hiking with chances to see Denali, wildlife, and maybe even northern lights (if you visit in late August or September) then Caribou Lodge Alaska is a great place for you to spend two, three, or even four of those hard-earned vacation days.
You won't experience all the incredible things that I have in just a few days, but you will see more of the real Alaska than many other visitors to my great state.